Rave Review on Their Aim to Place Remake in a High Fashion Context
Launching at Paris Fashion Week last year, new fashion brand Rave Review is already considered a game-changer. Making one-of-a-kind pieces out of pre-existing materials and second hand garments, they've proven that remake has a place on the high fashion arena.
Right now, we’re in a time where we as a fashion industry and community need to figure out the next steps, and quick. Everybody knows (they do!) that we can’t go on the way we have, wasting resources with no consideration for the future. So we put our trust in the new generation of designers, hoping that they will simply do it better. Actually, so many already are.
Leading the way into this new day and age are young fashion brands, like Rave Review, that are founded on the belief that fashion can actually change our society. We talk to Stockholm-based designer duo and former Beckman’s students Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück about their game-changing approach to fashion and sustainability.
What is Rave Review and why did you start the brand?
– Rave Review is the new, cool band everyone should know! We saw that there was a gap in the market between high-end fashion and remake, and came up with the concept of Rave Review, which is to make clothes with high-end finish entirely out of pre-existing textiles and clothes. From the day we decided to go for this, everything has happened really fast. In October last year, we launched our first collection in Paris during Fashion Week. The response has been incredible, and we feel like the timing for this concept is great.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
– Our aesthetics are quite playful and fun; we love working with prints, graphics and maximised color combinations. As most designers, we’re interested in contrasts. This can mean using interior fabrics in new contexts; the clash it creates is something we’re always reaching for in our design process. It’s really important that remake doesn’t define us aesthetically. Your first thought when looking at the garments should be that they’re nice and interesting, not that they’re made out of an old curtain or blanket.
What can you tell us about the new AW18 collection?
– The vibe of the AW18 collection is mysterious, sexual and provocative. It’s inspired by witches, and we want our wearer be empowered by the clothes and feel the sisterhood of our tribe.
How did you come up with the idea of sourcing your fabrics from pre-existing second hand clothing?
– For us, the idea of using pre-existing materials came first, and was the main vision behind the concept of our brand. There’s been a lot of discussions about sustainability in fashion, both at school and in working life, but nothing really happens; so we wanted to make a change. Since we really believe remake and recycling is the future, we decided to become experts in that field. We believe “redesigner” will be an actual job title in a near future, and that all big fashion brands will have an in-house remake department.
What is your relationship to second hand fashion?
– We have been buying and collecting second hand clothes since we were young. For us, it’s the most “normal” way of consuming fashion. It’s also such big part in the process of finding inspiration and ideas as a designer. In the beginning of the design process, we usually use vintage garments for deconstruction to find new garment ideas and silhouettes.
When shopping for yourselves—where do you look?
– We consider Humana to have one of the best selections of second hand in Stockholm. Emmaus Vintage is also really good. Other then that we love going to markets in the spring and always look abroad when we’re out travelling. We also buy a lot from Tradera and left over stock, but mainly when sourcing for the collections. Some of the people we buy from have been collecting these old beautiful fabrics for decades.
We’re always curious to learn about a brand’s design and manufacturing process—would you care to share yours?
– For us, it always starts with the materials. We collect fabrics and clothes we like from different second hand stores, markets and antique dealers. Then we have workshops with the materials where we experiment with draping, deconstructing and sketching. It’s very similar to a “normal” design process, except we end up using these materials, or similar materials, for the actual garments. We put almost as much time into sourcing the materials as we do in the actual design process. Once we’ve decided what to use in the collections, we start sourcing on a bigger scale, with help from different people, collecting companies and antique dealers.
Are all clothes in the collection one-of-a-kind and made-to-order?
– All pieces from the previous collections have been one-of-a-kind, and so far we’ve only been taking personal orders. But as we see the interest and request for our clothes grow, we’ll do some parts of the collection in full size arrangements, and some on a more limited scale. As it’s important for us to keep an exclusive feel, and to offer a unique assortment, we number all pieces.
As a new brand with an unconventional business model, what are your biggest challenges?
– We can definitely tell we’re sometimes a bit ahead of the industry. The biggest challenge we’re facing at the moment is how to incorporate our limited concept into the growing online-based industry. At the moment, our concept is more suitable for store retailers, where you can feel the quality of the garments and find that one piece you love the most. However, we feel like the industry is about to change, but it will take some time, for sure.
What have been the highlights of your joint career, and where do you see it going?
– Since we started everything last summer, things have been moving pretty fast. But after presenting the AW18 collection at Stockholm Fashion Week, the development of Rave Review definitely took a new turn. We received a lot of good feedback, not only here in Sweden, but internationally as well. The bigger vision for Rave Review is to be part of changing the fashion industry. We, as many others in the industry, know the importance of recycling, and believe a lot will change in the coming years.
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